Health and Wellness: Patrick’s Journey to Confidence and Well-Being
When Patrick enrolled at Milton Hershey School as a sophomore, he didn’t realize how much health and wellness would impact his future. After losing approximately 100 pounds in two years, Patrick’s journey to health and wellness is more than the numbers on the scale. He has shifted his mindset.
“Before I came to MHS, I was used to eating TV dinners, sitting at home, and not going outside,” he said. “So when I came to MHS, I was a really big person. It was a complete culture shock—every day I had to walk to school and eat wholesome food.”
As Patrick acclimated to the MHS campus, he began trying new activities. Instead of sitting at home after school, he got involved in athletics. He also began drinking more water, eating more fruit, and realizing that healthy food can taste good.
“For the first month I was here, the weight started shedding off. I realized it was really good for me,” Patrick said. “From there, I wanted to do things I never had the chance to do—such as play on the football and wrestling teams. I wanted to expand my view to something I could never do before because of my weight.”
Patrick’s fresh outlook and positive energy inspired him to achieve impressive accomplishments.
“During my first week at MHS, I ran a 14-minute mile. Now, I run a 7:36 minute mile. I cut my time in half, and I feel so much better about myself,” he said. “My weight is no longer an excuse. I can’t be held back by excuses anymore.”
Along with maintaining his personal health and wellness, Patrick is passionate about encouraging others. He has learned how to cook and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others—especially with his family in Pittsburgh.
“I’ve been learning how to cook at MHS, and when I go home, I’m a whole different person. I want to make healthy food for my family so they don’t fall into the same hole I did,” he explained. “My mom tells me how proud she is every time she sees me. It’s a huge boost to my confidence.”
Patrick’s newfound confidence and self-esteem has not only impacted his physical health, but also his academics and mental well-being.
“When I first came to MHS, my grades were subpar. Now, I’m in National Honor Society and I’m working toward straight A’s,” he said. “Just having the health alone isn’t going to cut it. I need to have the grades and the attitude so I can become a truly excellent person.”
Now, Patrick has a vivid goal for the future: to show others that health and wellness matters.
“No matter what I do in the future, if I have my health, then I have everything,” Patrick said. “However, some people don’t think health and wellness matters, so I want to change that viewpoint. I want to be a doctor and help people see that obesity is not good for your health.”
As he continues to take the steps he needs to fulfill his goal, Patrick encourages others to stay committed to their health and wellness journeys as well.
“Go out and do it. If you’re not going to take the first step like I did, you’re never going to take any of the subsequent steps,” he said. “Once you start something, it becomes repetition. If you can devote 60 minutes of your day to work on getting better, everything will come together.”
Patrick enrolled at MHS in tenth grade from Pittsbugh, Pennsylvania.
Student Voices Blog
Milton Hershey School students are confident leaders, global citizens, compassionate members of the community, focused scholars and fearless problem solvers. They also have strong voices and inspirational stories. Follow our Student Voices blog series to read students’ perspectives on service, graduation, internships and more, written in their own words.